A Judeo-Christian Bible Study
Subject-Verse Index
The scriptures instruct us, Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it (Mark 11:11-14). A few verses later, we read, And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith (Mark 11:20-23).
Many believers in Christ have interpreted verse 13 to mean that the believer who desires a mountain [a towering obstacle, problem, or need] to be eliminated from their lives, and shall not doubt in their heart but believe that those things he or she says rearding the mountain shall come to pass, he or she shall have whatsoever he or she says. On the surface, this interpretation seems reasonable, if not attractive, but there is a problem – a major problem, in fact. The problem is that many believers speak all kinds of things to their mountains, and those things do not ever happen or appear. The mountain is never removed and cast into the sea, so to speak, and the believer in Christ never receives what he or she spoke in faith to their mountain. Over and over again in the church, the words spoken by the believer to his or her mountain does not match the reality of what happens [or doesn't happen]. How could this be? What went wrong? Why do the words many believers speak to their mountains not come to pass? One possible explanation is that verse 23 has been misinterpreted by individual believers, Christian pastors and teachers, mainly because verse 23 is not studied in context. Then the error spreads when pastors and teachers teach this error to members of their church, who in turn pass it on the others they know and interact with.
In order to properly interpret our subject verse, we must examine the context of verse 23 beginning in Mark 11:11-14). Coming from Bethany, the Lord, with His twelve disciples, saw a fig tree which had no fruit, only leaves. The Lord spoke to the fig tree, cursing it, saying no man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever, and the Lord's disciples heard what the Lord said to the fig tree. The next morning, the Lord and His disciples passed by the fig tree, and the fig tree had dried up from the roots, just as the Lord had said. Peter saw the fig tree which had dried up, and with apparent surprise and unbelief, saidMaster, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. Jesus then instructed Peter, have faith in God. The major point of verses 11-14 is that what the Lord says will come to pass. His words will always be fulfilled, accomplished, and come to pass. When God speaks, things happen. What Christ and God the Father desire of believers is that they believe that the words, without any doubt, that Christ speaks will come to pass. As you know, this belief is what Christ refers to as faith. The Lord specifically instructed the apostle Peter to have faith in God, and having faith in God means that the believer should know and understand that the words God speaks will always come to pass, without exception.
If we are looking for a biblical definition of faith, we find it in the book of Matthew. Jesus gives us the definition of faith: And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word [message or instruction from Christ] only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel (Matthew 8:5-10). In this parable, Jesus encountered a Roman centurion whose servant was sick of the palsy, and was feeling tortured with pain and torment. The centurion asked Jesus to come and heal the servant, and Jesus agreed to do so, but the centurion humbly responded that he was not worthy to have Jesus enter his home. Understanding the concept of authority, and knowing that Jesus had authority to speak, the centurion then asked the Lord to just speak a word of healing, and he knew his servant would be healed. It was not necessary that Jesus come to the centurion's house. Jesus responded with the phrase, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. In the context of these verses, Jesus says that a person has great faith when he or she understands that Jesus has spiritual authority, and believes that the words spoken by Jesus [God] will come to pass, whatever those words might be.

In order to better understand our subject verses, some changes in capitalization are helpful. After the Lord cursed the fig tree, and His disciples heard the words of the Lord and saw, to their surprise, that His words had come to pass and the tree had died from its' roots, the Lord added one more word of instruction to His disciples. He responded, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain [need, desire], Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea [that is, dealt with in some way]; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he [He, that is, God] saith shall come to pass; he [the believer in Christ] shall have whatsoeverhe [He, that is, God] saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye [the believer] desire, when ye [the believer] pray [and receive an answer from God], believe that ye receive them, and ye [the believer] shall have them [not because the believer has spoken the words, but because we are repeating the words that God has spoken in answer to our prayer need] (Mark 11:23-24).

This concept might be easier to understand if we reverse the verses. First, we have a significant need [a mountain], second, we pray about our need and seek God's answer, third, we receive God's answer to our prayer, fourth, we speak God's answer to our mountain, and fifth, we see that our words come to pass regarding our mountain. We must realize that we see our words come true regarding our mountain, not because we spoke our own words, but because we spoke God's words regarding our mountain. Again, it is always God's words which are true and come to pass, not our own, unless we have repeated God's words. When we have a mountain of desire or need in our life, and we seek the Lord for His guidance, and he speaks a word to us and gives us an answer, it is our responsibility to absolutely believe, that is, have faith in, that what God says is true and will come to pass.

Why is it important that we believe – because, in the spiritual realm, God's words spoken by the Holy Spirit through Christ are full of supernatural power and are always true and fulfilled. God is God. We can trust what He says, and with experience, it becomes easier and easier to believe, because over and over again, we see that God's words did come to pass. He never fails, and neither do Hs words. We are reminded of the prophetic words of Isaiah: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word [Hebrew, dabar, refers to the speaking and operation of God's Holy Spirit, not the bible] be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper iin the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11). It is imperative, though, that when we pray, we must seek God's will. John reminds us, this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).

We are taught from the very beginning of the scriptures that we are to have faith in God, faith that God's words will always come to pass. In Genesis, during the creation, for example, what God spoke came to pass: ...the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day (Genesis 1:2-5). Next, God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:3-4). Early on, the words spoken by God came to pass. Next, God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day (Genesis 1:6-8). Also, God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day (Genesis 1:11-13). In our last example, we read, And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). We could continue with this illustration, but the point is made: what God says comes to pass, and it is our responsibility to believe that His words are true and will come to pass, in His own timing and to fulfill His own will. This action on our part is called faith.  AMEN.


"And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to
suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach
and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:41-42).

"But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before
the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him [Saul, later Paul] how great
things he must suffer for my name's sake” (Acts 9:15-16).

"The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then
heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be
also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:16-18).
"For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given
more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but
that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer,
all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice
with it” (1 Corinthians 12:24-26).

"For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it
came to pass, and ye know” (1 Thessalonians 3:4).

"So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your
persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: which is a manifest token of the righteous
judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye
also suffer” (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5).

"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also
reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Timothy 2:11-12).
"For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face
of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which
is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror,
neither be troubled” (1 Peter 3:12-14).

“For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing” (1 Peter 3:17).

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And
whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of
the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation
and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings,
so shall ye be also of the consolation” (2 Corinthians 1:5-7).

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my
Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win
Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is
through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the
power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto
his death” (Philippians 3:8-10).
"Ye worship ye know not what: we know
what we worship: for salvation is of
the Jews"
(John 4:22)